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Safety & Health Specialist III - Environmental Programs Division

HEALTH SYSTEM Full Time Durham, North Carolina
Requisition Number: 237568

Safety and Health Specialist – Environmental Programs Division

Primary Purpose of Organizational Unit:

Duke University and Duke University Health System are committed to fostering excellence and leadership in education, healthcare delivery, medical teaching and research. The Occupational and Environmental Safety Office (OESO) exists to support this Institutional effort by promoting a safe environment for the Duke Community that is conducive to achieving such excellence while providing the highest level of customer service possible. OESO is committed to providing expertise in safety and health in a friendly, responsive and enthusiastic manner.

Specific to the Environmental Programs Division:

The Environmental Programs Division supports the University’s policy to minimize the environmental impact of its activities through the development, implementation, and tracking of a number of management programs and services. Services and programs include compliance assistance, regulatory permitting support, training, auditing, project management, emergency response, and hazardous chemical and radiological waste management.

Primary Purpose of Position:
This position has responsibility for developing, organizing, directing and monitoring the activities of the Duke University Occupational and Environmental Safety Office (OESO) environmental compliance programs to ensure compliance with federal, state and local environmental regulations.  These programs include air pollution, ground and surface water contamination, underground storage tanks, Spill Prevention Control and Countermeasures (SPCC) plans, mercury elimination, SARA, CERCLA, FIFRA, TSCA, and others.

Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Plans and directs the environmental management functions under senior management direction.  Accountable for developing and implementing policies, procedures, and systems related to the environmental protection programs.

  • Ensures that the organization is in compliance with all appropriate Federal, State, and local regulations and standards, including: EPA, DOE, DOT, NRC, RCRA, FIFRA, TSCA, CERCLA, CAA, SDWA, CWA, SARA, etc. Communicates with senior management regarding the policies and procedures for assuring compliance.

  • Accountable for coordinating all activities and projects related to environmental management practice.

  • Conducts investigations to assure waste management facilities and air pollution sources are operated in strict accordance with operating permits.  Prepares reports to management on investigations and evaluations of environmental compliance issues.  Assesses environmental risk and develops required regulatory documentation.

  • Provides leadership and direction to subordinate, professional, and technical personnel of the Division.

  • Reviews planned expansion, modifications, or closures of facilities which affect environmental discharges, emissions, and hazardous materials.

  • Identify personnel, institutional and material resources needed to accomplish objectives.  Provide input to the annual budgetary requirements for environmental safety operations.  Develop subordinate staff to foster enhanced productivity and efficiency.

  • Establish, maintain cooperative relations, work effectively as a member of a team, and communicate effectively with other Duke organizational units 

  • Maintain up-to-date knowledge and understanding of new or anticipated regulations or compliance interpretations.  Prepare analyses and strategies for review by senior management.

  • Serve as a rotating after-hours responder for hazardous material incidents.

Other Position Characteristics:

  • Accuracy Required in Work:  Failure to manage environmental programs properly as required by local, state, or federal regulations could result in significant monetary fines to the institution.

  • Consequence of Error:  Same as 1 above.  Personal civil and criminal liability for gross errors is a possibility. Additionally, errors or oversights may present risk of injury and long term health effects.

  • Instructions Provided to Employees:  Provides consultative services to OESO division managers and to off-site Health System organizations such as Duke Regional Hospital, Duke Raleigh Hospital, Duke Homecare & Hospice, and Duke Health Integrated Practice.

  • Guides, Regulations, Policies and References used by Employee:  Occupational Safety and Health Administration (state and federal), Nuclear Regulatory Commission, State government regulations regarding the use of Radioactive Materials, Environmental Protection Agency, Department of Transportation, The Joint Commission, North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality.

  • Supervision:  May provide general supervision to personnel who may be named to a specific purpose team.

  • Variety and Purpose of Personal Contacts:  This position works directly with hospital, clinic, laboratory and shop personnel, and a variety of other Duke employees.

  • Physical Effort:  In exercising these functions, the person must be able to lift 50 lbs., and manipulate 400 lb. drums, and be physically able to wear respiratory protection.

  • Work Environment and Conditions:  Environments range from usual office conditions to environments where "immediately dangerous to life and health" (IDLH) atmospheres exist requiring the use of burdensome protective clothing and equipment.  Where not extremely hazardous, work may be uncomfortable or unpleasant (e.g., high heat).

  • Machine, Tools, Instruments, Equipment and Materials Used:  Respirators and other protective clothing, forklifts, drum trucks, and spill control agents.

  • Visual Attention, Mental Concentration and Manipulative Skills.  Must be able to perform duties without causing release of hazardous materials.

  • Safety for Others:  Because of the hazards inherent in this work, all operations must follow written Standard Operating Procedures (SOP's).

  • Dynamics of Work:  The work of this position is highly diverse and dynamic. There may be interruptions of routine work with emergent issues such as environmental contingencies, visits by governmental regulators, and other unanticipated events. 

Required Minimum Qualifications:

Knowledge, Skills and Abilities:

  • Knowledge of federal, state and local environmental laws and regulations, environmental permitting, and hazardous material management.

  • Ability to supervise technical subordinates.

  • Ability to utilize computer technology to access data, maintain records, generate reports.

  • Creative problem solving to recognize and analyze needs and propose solutions to effectively address them.

  • Excellent oral and written communication skills.

  • Ability to plan and coordinate multiple, diverse tasks simultaneously. 


Bachelor’s degree in chemistry, physics, biology, environmental management or equivalent. 


No experience for level 1; three years’ experience for level 2; five years’ experience for level 3.

Degrees, Licensure, and/or Certification:

  • Must have a valid driver’s license.

  • Must have completed or be able to complete: First Responder Operations Level HAZWOPER Training (29 CFR 1910. 120)

Preferred Minimum Qualifications:


Master’s degree in chemistry, physics, biology, environmental management or equivalent. 


Five years of related professional experience.

Degrees, Licensure, and/or Certification:

Work toward recognized professional certification such as REM, CSP, CHMM, etc.

Duke is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer committed to providing employment opportunity without regard to an individual's age, color, disability, gender, gender expression, gender identity, genetic information, national origin, race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, or veteran status.

Duke aspires to create a community built on collaboration, innovation, creativity, and belonging. Our collective success depends on the robust exchange of ideas—an exchange that is best when the rich diversity of our perspectives, backgrounds, and experiences flourishes. To achieve this exchange, it is essential that all members of the community feel secure and welcome, that the contributions of all individuals are respected, and that all voices are heard. All members of our community have a responsibility to uphold these values.

Essential Physical Job Functions: Certain jobs at Duke University and Duke University Health System may include essentialjob functions that require specific physical and/or mental abilities. Additional information and provision for requests for reasonable accommodation will be provided by each hiring department.

As you explore and apply to career opportunities with Duke Health, we want to alert you of possible fraudulent scams and phishing schemes targeted at job seekers. Duke Health will never ask for any financial contribution or to provide sensitive personal information outside of our application and background check process.

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